Government vs. Civil Liberty

The Constitution guarantees the right of free speech. Some Americans rebel against those who have different perspectives relating to unencumbered speech. Anytime a college or a high school censors free speech of a student or a guest speaker, it is a direct attack on our liberty. In a free society, citizens, the press and the opposition must have free rein to present their side of an issue. Of course, a speaker who incites violence is not, and should not be, protected.

Lately, liberal elements and institutions of higher learning have unilaterally canceled opportunities for dissenting voices. Often, the issues involved are highly contentious. Women’s rights, BLM, gay marriage, civil rights, the right to protest and the role of police officers are front and center. Burning down cities, looting stores, destroying property and committing bodily harm are too often associated with “free speech activities.”

Do you feel that the government is too intrusive into the affairs of average Americans? It seems to me that federal and state politicians are in our faces, pockets and lives far too often. Our civil liberties are being threatened on a daily basis.

The first thing that comes to mind is taxation. Our government has the right and duty to tax income and purchases to fund its needs. Since Washington is responsible for defense, security and a plethora of services, it needs to take part of our earnings every paycheck. But who evaluates whether the federal and state governments are using our money wisely? And who determines how much every citizen should contribute to the expenses of state? Of course, the answer is Congress. The people we elect every two years are the stewards of taxes imposed on citizens and noncitizens alike.

I’ve always been amazed that the 1% of earners have not been have not been abused in this regard. If 99% of Americans effectively have control of the government, why wouldn’t they attack the affluent more strenuously? If you ask someone who makes $50,000 or $100,000 to vote for a person who believes in higher taxes, why wouldn’t they be agreeable. It will not cost them anything while they increase government revenue that can be spent on things that improve society.

I suppose that everyone, rich and poor, aspires to make more money and to become part of the 1%, even though this logic is faulty. Thank goodness some of our leaders recognize that you can’t tax the rich at 90% and have a true capitalistic society. Many 99%ers want capitalism to thrive. They understand that the richest people subsidize the poor and middle classes in the country. Trickle down economics is a reality.

Are our tax dollars being spent wisely by our legislators? Should we spend almost $1 trillion each year to defend our country? These dollars are being used to protect our freedom, and worth every penny spent. Aircraft carriers and nuclear weapons are expensive items.

Why does the government try to keep taxes low on corporations? The answer is simple, corporations hire millions of Americans and pay them good wages.

But what about welfare and financial aid? America has an obligation to care for the needy. No one really disagrees with this principle. What roils people is that welfare always increases and never subsides. Aid that was needed years ago, but it’s no longer required, should end. And why shouldn’t every able-bodied person have a job, rather than a monthly check that enables them to stay home? There should be a quid pro quo for securing aid.

Parent involvement in schools is being attacked in recent months. There has always been a conflict between teachers and student parents about the level of involvement of the latter. Some parents want to have a say about what novels are read by students and, generally, the curricula designed by school administrators. Some teachers want to press students on certain theories about controversial issues too early or too often. For instance, the legitimacy of gay marriage has been a hot topic as well as issues regarding evolution. These topics are fair game only when the students are old enough to digest the facts (not opinions), and with parental input.

In recent months during the pandemic, the conflict between teachers and parents came to a head. In-school instruction versus home teaching has been a hot topic. Most parents, even those who are concerned about the deadly virus, want their kids back in the classroom. They believe children learn more when the teaching occurs face-to-face, in person. Many teachers are concerned about the health risks of an in-person teaching. Should the federal government intervene? This would be better than allowing the teachers to run free rein over our children.

Another fire storm involves the southern border of our country. Radical elements really do believe that entering our country without proper authorization is not a crime. These people are dead wrong. There is a procedure that must take place for immigrants to enter the US and ultimately become citizens. Local governments have no right to unilaterally change these requirements.

The same elements are also betting that illegal immigrants will become citizens even though they have broken our laws. And if enough of these immigrants become citizens, they will impact the balance of liberals and conservatives and in the country. Really? Do radical elements think that conservatives are going to stand aside and allow millions of people who illegally crossed our borders to become citizens?

Actually, the answer is yes. Millions of illegals are already living in America, and if they follow our laws, they will likely receive citizenship. But the flow must stop, and conservative groups must do everything possible to stem the illegal flow of humanity onto our soil. If not, the rights of legitimate citizens will be denigrated.

As you can see, there are many areas where our government has usurped the power of the people. Our leaders must recognize that they are in power at our pleasure and only if we vote for them again in the next election. Unfortunately, because of opposition to term limits, too many of the people in Congress have remained in power to the detriment of all citizens. I believe a strong federal government is important to our country, but the power of the people should never be minimized.

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